LINCOLN CATHEDRAL is hoping that a scheme that offers discounts at shops and restaurants near by will boost its own coffers, too.
Launched on Monday, the Community Card scheme gives its owners free entry to the cathedral, and a discount of up to 20 per cent at 40 local businesses.
Priced at £39.99, the card gives entry to the medieval cathedral for a family of two adults, and up to three children under 16, for a year.
A spokesman for the cathedral said that the card would enable residents in the area to support what was “local to them”.
“The Bailgate area of the city and Steep Hill are filled with local businesses, and the cathedral sits amongst them,” he said. “The Community Card hopes to support both local business in Lincoln, but also the ongoing work of sustaining Lincoln Cathedral. Over 40 businesses have shown interest in the scheme so far, and it is hoped that this will grow, giving Lincoln and Lincolnshire more of an opportunity to get discounts and have exciting days out.”
The cathedral is currently at the start of a five-year £16-million project to restore the thousand-year-old building and its grounds.
Other Church of England cathedrals have experimented with discount and loyalty cards to encourage more people to pass through their doors.
Exeter Cathedral offers all those living in the city a resident’s card, which gives them free entry during normal visitor hours; and Durham offers a Cloister Card scheme, which extends free entry to volunteers, staff, Friends of Durham Cathedral, former choristers, all clergy in the diocese, and all students at school or university within the diocese. Holders of the card also receive a ten-per-cent discount in the cathedral restaurant and shop.
Coventry and Lichfield Cathedrals are among those to have signed up to existing discount-card programmes. The Coventry VIP card gives holders two-for-one admission to the cathedral, and those who have an Enjoy Staffordshire card can get a ten-per-cent discount at Lichfield Cathedral’s shop.